PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN - FREE FRANK SIGNED - HFSID 269148
HARRY S TRUMAN Free franking signature on a postcard postmarked in 1957, a year before former Presidents were legally granted the franking privilege. Personally franked mail of 20th century Presidents is rare!
Sale Price $450.00
HARRY S TRUMAN
Free franking signature on a postcard postmarked in 1957, a year before former Presidents were legally granted the franking privilege. Personally franked mail of 20th century Presidents is rare!
Rare free franking signature: "Harry Truman" in ink on message side of picture postcard (Color, 5½x3½), printed caption to the left of signature: "Home of Harry S. Truman, Independence, Missouri, /33rd President of the United States. This stately mansion/was built about 80 years ago by Mrs. Truman's grandfather." The house, at 219 North Delaware, was built in 1862. Addressed by typewriter, postmarked New York, N.Y., April 1957. Former President Truman's daughter Margaret had married Clifton Daniel of "The New York Times" in 1956 and gave birth to their first child, Clifton Truman Daniel, on June 5, 1957, so it is probable that Truman was visiting his daughter in New York City when he franked this postcard. Since colonial times, public officials, and, later, former Presidents, had the franking privilege, the right for anyone to send mail with no postage paid by signing one's name. In an action supported by President U.S. Grant, the franking privilege was abolished in 1877 after abuses became rampant. It was discovered that some Congressmen even sent their laundry home under their free frank. In 1891, the free frank was given back to Congressmen and Senators and, in 1895, the Vice President was given the free frank since he was President of the Senate. While widows of U.S. Presidents were granted the franking privilege by special acts of Congress, it was not until the Former Presidents Act of 1958 that this was formalized. This free frank, therefore, was illegal; in 1957, Truman did not as yet have the franking privilege. Former Presidents and Presidents' widows, as well as members of Congress, are allowed to use facsimile franking signatures so they do not have to personally sign their mail. Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman were the first former Presidents since Andrew Johnson to have the franking privilege. To send their mail, Hoover used a metered franking signature and Truman had envelopes preprinted with his signature. Personally franked mail of 20th century Presidents are rare! Minor scratches on photo side. Otherwise, fine condition.
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